By Tanya Silverman
Photo courtesy of James Nash.
The old days sure were tough…
Having to frequent the dreary drug store to shop for embarrassing personal products like condoms or tampons, risking ripping your arm out of its socket carrying home heavy cold-pressed olive oil or specialty doggie treats, or worst of all, craving an artisanal snack and not being able to easily find anything gluten-free, gourmet, or Japanese kawaii-looking at your local corner store.
However, in today’s age, subscriptions have evolved so much that you can get timely deliveries of all these goodies right at your door.
Japanese treats. Photo courtesy of Magnus D.
Konichiwa, Pocky, Ume Tea, Strawberry Senbei, and squid chips!
Japanese candies are so sweet and poppy, and their snacks so savory and specialized. A country with such distinct food culture,—and refined presentation aesthetic—some of its proud citizens came up with the Skoshbox subscription service that makes monthly packages for foreign customers so they can cheaply sample traditional snacks, unusual tastes, and trendy candies.
Gluten-free bread. Photo courtesy of Jodimichelle.
What’s the next best thing after Japanese bites? Gluten-free ones, of course.
Tamale pie, cookies, Punjabi curry, almond-cashew milk, kettle corn, and pizza dough are just some of the provisions that Taste Guru delivers to people who are gluten allergenic, health conscious, or dietary hypochondriacs.
Gluten-free baguettes, anyone?
Lavender flowers. Photo courtesy of chipmunk_1.
Let’s say you are a hippie at heart and desire to live a more self-sufficient, sustainable lifestyle, but don’t know which dried flowers, essential oils, or eco-friendly dish soaps to adapt to.
For amateurs, it could take a lot of commitment to effectively sift through the overabundance of earthly products out there these days, so the HomeGrown Collective curates monthly packages such as Kombucha starter kits, kitchen and bathroom salt sets, or Home Remedy packets full of Echinacea, Elderberry, and DIY Shower Vapor Cups.
Ah, domestic-living products can make us so much closer to our dearest Mother Earth by the month.
Drawing by Helloflo.
Women, don’t you love getting your period? Hmm, probably (or most definitely) not, but being prepared for such times is important. Running out to the store for that reason for unexpected emergencies is not fun—especially when you rush down the aisle and discover that your preferred brand or size is all out of stock. (I’ll stop there and not go into the intimate details that feminine-product marketers tend to elaborate on.)
Of course, these situations don’t make life so horrible you can’t go on, however, you could understand the desire to have cotton sanitary products delivered in discreet boxes and timely installments. Helloflo offers combos of tampons, pads, liners, and even some “delicious treats” to make that time of month more convenient and easier to get through.
A Dollar Shave Club delivery. Photo courtesy of Paul Roth.
Dollar Shave Club
Well, the landing-page “Our Blades Are F***ing Great” commercial video is on the annoyance par of one of those obnoxious Geico ads, but the concept is pretty practical. Plus, straightforward: they deliver monthly razors to your door, starting at $1 for the double-blade device. For the fancier (or hairier) face, Dollar Shave Club offers more expensive selections of four or six blades.
Pretty cheap service, but their slogans are pretty stupid, too, for instance:
“I save $100/yr on shaving now. Basically I’m a genius.”
Dollar Rubber Club outline plans. Image from Dollar Rubber Club.
Dollar Rubber Club
“The best BANG for your buck”
Wow, and I thought the Dollar Shave Club was being cheesy with their marketing.
Nevertheless, the condom people do offer a cheap, useful delivery service that prevents STDs and unwanted pregnancies. The basic subscription is a dollar for three rubbers per month—but if you’re planning (or hoping) to have a spunkier next few weeks, they deliver six and 12 condom sets, too.
Dogs indulge, too. Photo courtesy of Pete Markham.
If you have a hound with sophisticated taste, Bark Box puts together at least four toys, treats, and other gifts in their monthly cartons according to your dog’s size. Their plan seems especially useful if your pup is a snack connoisseur or one that tears through ropes and hides like crazy.
Anyway, for those of us who aren’t dog people, maybe a Purr Package will come into existence next to satiate spoiled cats?
A Parisian boulangerie. Photo courtesy of Bob Hall.
Try The World
Traveling’s really something. You get to immerse yourself in different cultures, hear foreign tongues, and taste all sorts of local cuisines. But think of all the money, time, and planning it realistically takes to journey to Paris, Rome, or Rio.
Instead, through Try the World, you can obtain a parcel packed with gourmet selections from a different city every other month. Why bother getting jetlagged, sick, lost, confused, or homesick in distant lands? They send the cuisine straight to your door so you can just load up the Google Maps interface of the respective “destination” as you indulge comfortably in your international delights.
Striped socks. Photo courtesy of Karen.
Your grandparents may lament the world going to hell because socks used to cost a dime and last for ages, but that’s lame—now that you can subscribe to Sock Panda, where they deliver a fashionable pair of socks each month, be they decorated with cute flowers, or pastel stripes, or funky dog faces.
How’s that, fogies? We can stay stylish and sport the socks we want today instead of learning to darn or conserve.
The old folks’ eras are as obsolete as their daily milkman and iceman, and our current times are cooler, not just because we use refrigerators, but because of all these nifty packages we can subscribe to online.